Chocolate heaven without the chocolate

 I have tried many brownie recipes over the years, recipes from the likes of Nigel and Nigella, Hugh F-W et al. Without exception they've all needed a lot of chocolate- 375 g from Nigella (that's 4 bars woman!), and it has to be good quality chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids doesn't it? Remember when a bar of Bournville was considered sophisticated and extravagant? Goodness I remember my mum using Scotchbloc for her cakes! Sometimes I think we've become so sophisticated in our food choices, especially if you are like me and read a lot of cookery writing, that we have forgotten that simple can be good too.

These cocoa brownies are just that- simple and good. Not only much more economical to make than chocolate brownies they are, I think, more delicious. They taste chocolatey but not so much that you have to lie down after a couple of bites. They are exactly the right texture-dense and fudgey, squidgey but not gooey. They are also a doddle to make, simply melt the butter and stir in everything else. No chocolate to melt means less washing up. I used a little less cocoa than specified simply because there wasn't as much in the tin as I'd thought and they still turned out beautifully. I also gave them a little more time- 10 mins, my oven seems to be underbaking a lot of things lately. 

Do try them, Jules' recipe is very clear and ingredients are listed in cups, imperial and metric (very helpful).



  1. I have to say I still do use scotchblock for topping chocolate cakes.I find it a lot quicker and easier than fiddly high percentage chocolates and as I'm feeding tinies they prefer the sweetness of it

    Love the Brownie recipe by the way and will definitely be trying it out when I have finished losing the weight I piled on over Christmas and New Year!

    How do you manage to stay slim when you cook all these lovely yummy foods?


  2. Slim? That is so funny! I could do with losing at least 4 stone! What makes you think I'm slim? Thanks anyway though;o)

  3. Anonymous3:12 pm GMT

    I will have to try these they look lovely. My kind of recipe nice and straight forward with every day things I keep in my baking cupboard.


  4. Talking of not 70% chocolate - did you watch Raymond Blanc's programme about cooking with chocolate? He took a selection of chocolate for his office staff to try. He ranged it from cheap 20% up the the real deal expensive.

    To a woman they loved the cheap milk stuff best, I had to laugh, but wasn't surprised.

    I thought the programme was fun - not that I shall be making anything, but it was a nice take on cooking programmes.

    I always use cocoa for choc cakes and I will be making these brownies.

  5. I didn't see Raymond Blanc Maureen but I notice Mary Berry in her Baking Bible recommends 39% chocolate. She says too much cocoa solids and the consistency of your cake and its rise will be affected. I've never had a Mary Berry recipe fail. I also see that she has a simple cocoa brownie recipe as well as more chocolatey one. Hope you enjoy them :o)

  6. Thank you so much - I was deeply sceptical about choc-less brownies but have just made these are they are superb -will be making brownies much more often now I don't have to lay out for 4 bars of green and blacks!

  7. These are so yummy Sue! I made some tonight but nut free because my littlies have allergies but they are scrummy. Thanks for this link. x


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